Frequently Asked Questions


Account Questions

I have forgotten my Username or Password for the website. What can I do?

If you have forgotten your Username or Password, simply set up new ones by looking for “new to DHL online” heading on the left side of the home page and selecting the “sign up now” option. It takes less than two minutes to set up a Username and Password for your account. Be sure to use the Export number provided by Optimal Ship as the billing information so that when you use DHL services you have the benefit of the discount rates that are associated with your account.

I cannot locate the DHL Export or Import numbers Optimal Ship provided me. What can I do?

Email or call Optimal Ship at (972) 383-9901 (7:00 AM – 7:00 PM Central, M-F). We will look up your Export and Import numbers and email them to you. Your Import and Export numbers are used as your account reference numbers by DHL and Optimal Ship. You will use these numbers to setup the log-in information at and use the same numbers when you contact Optimal Ship for quotes or invoice questions.

Dangerous Goods

What are the requirements for shipping dangerous goods through DHL Express?

1. Dangerous Goods shipments presented to DHL Express for transport must be prepared in accordance with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations. The individuals preparing the shipments must be formally trained in the IATA regulations.
2. An Optimal Ship/DHL Express account number is required.
3. The shipper must be recognized as a “Known Shipper”.
4. The shipper must be approved to ship dangerous goods internationally.

Delivery and Pickup

Does Optimal Ship charge a pickup fee?

Optimal Ship does not charge a pickup fee.

Does Optimal Ship charge a delivery fee?

There is no charge for delivery unless a delivery is to a residential address at an international location ($3.65), or if a delivery is to an extremely rural international location ($0.30 per lb., min. $30.00).

DHL and Optimal Ship

Why am I not able to get a quote from the web site?

Optimal Ship offers you negotiated price savings. To obtain a quote for a shipment, click on the Shipping Quote tab above or login with your account.

What is the relationship between DHL Express and Optimal Ship?

Optimal Ship is an authorized DHL Express service provider. Customers benefit from the division of responsibilities and specialization of the two companies. DHL Express provides unparalleled international transportation services, including in-air customs clearance, operations and logistics efficiency and tracking support. Optimal Ship provides aggressively discounted international shipping rates, sales support and invoicing that may be customized to fit customers’ needs.

If I have questions not answered here, who should I contact?

You may contact a member of our Customer Service team at 1-800-418-2273 and we will be happy to assist you.

Duty and Tax fees

Who determines duty or tax charges?

Duty or tax charges are determined by the customs department of each country and not by DHL or Optimal Ship. The charges are country specific and based upon the product type and value of the shipment.

Who pays duty and tax fees?

Duties and taxes are the responsibility of the receiver in the destination country.

May the shipper pay the duty and tax fees?

Yes. For a shipper to pay duties and taxes, the DPT (Duties & Taxes Paid) option must be selected on the waybill prior to shipping a package. There is a $15.00 charge for exports or imports if the selection is made for the shipper, rather than the receiver, to pay these fees. This option is used primarily for items sent as gifts, when the sender desires the receiver to have no shipment costs.

Might there be taxes due if a product is designated as a duty free good?

Even though duty-free goods are not subject to duty, these shipments are subject to VAT or other import fees.

How do I know if my shipment is dutiable?

Each country establishes its own standards as to which goods are considered dutiable.

My shipment is dutiable. How does that affect my shipment?

It can affect your shipment in two ways:Customs. DHL has developed working relationships with customs officials worldwide to streamline the clearance process. We’re a licensed customs broker in more than 140 countries, which means a great majority of DHL Express shipments are cleared in transit – prior to the shipment arriving in the destination country.
Documentation. All dutiable shipments require a commercial invoice and a waybill. DHL Express has made it easy for you to complete these documents as you prepare your shipment.
You may need additional forms, depending on shipment content, value, and destination. DHL provides you a tool that will help you determine which additional documents are required for your specific shipment.

What does NAFTA mean and do I have to do anything different?

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada, and Mexico allows commodities that qualify to receive preferential treatment, such as free or lower rates of duty when shipped between NAFTA countries. All shipments, whether or not they qualify for NAFTA preferential treatment, must be cleared by the customs authority of the country they are entering.

I was charged duties and taxes for something purchased online. Why wasn’t that included in the overall shipping costs?

Please be aware that when purchasing goods via internet sites, some or all of these goods may not originate in your home country. When goods are not sent domestically or within a single customs union, you are liable to pay any inbound duties and taxes which your local Customs authority deems appropriate. Duties and taxes are most typically not included in the price of the goods you purchase online.
DHL pays the Customs authority on your behalf any duties and taxes that are due on the goods, when they enter the country. This simple process ensures that our courier can deliver your goods in shortest possible transit time. Please note that we only release the goods to you upon the full repayment of any duties and taxes that were paid on your behalf.

Fuel Surcharge

How frequently does the fuel-surcharge percentage change?

The current fuel surcharge is 2.25%. The fuel surcharge is reviewed monthly and may change depending on competitive fuel surcharge rates of international express carriers.

General Questions

May I insure my shipment?

Yes. Shipment value protection is offered by DHL at a cost of $1.00 per $100 of insured value, with a minimum charge of $3.00 Shipments with more than US$50,000 in value must be approved in advance by DHL’s Risk Management team. Shipments valued at more than US$50,000 require that DHL Risk Management be notified prior to shipping.

How can I order additional waybills?

You can order supplies directly from your My DHL Express login. Or, consider preparing your shipping labels online. It’s easy to save and repeat previously entered shipper and receiver information for multiple waybills at a time.

How do I order supplies for shipping?

You can order supplies by clicking on the Order Shipping Supplies link on the DHL-services page. Login to using the Username and Password for your account. Select the supplies you need on the on-line order form. There is no cost for the DHL supplies. They will be delivered to you within 1 or 2 days.

What is the maximum size package I can send?

We are pleased to arrange carriage of any shipment for you, regardless of size or weight. Surcharges are applied for any shipment containing one or more packages that exceed the non-conveyable weight of 70 kg or 150 lb. DHL also applies surcharges for any shipment containing one or more packages with any dimension in excess of 48 in.
Shipments of this size and/or weight may require additional days for delivery and the Service Guarantee will not apply.

What does it mean if a country has an embargo or trade sanction placed on it?

An embargo is the partial or complete prohibition of commerce and trade with a particular country. Embargoes are similar to economic sanctions and are generally considered legal barriers to trade.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions. DHL complies with all OFAC regulations when exporting to or importing from US embargoed countries and shipments are limited to approved account holders. Please contact your DHL sales rep for further information about shipping to an OFAC country.
The following countries currently have embargoes or sanctions placed on them by OFAC:
Cuba, Iran (Islamic Republic Of), Korea D.P.R (North Korea), North Sudan, Syria, Myanmar (Burma)

Overweight and Oversize Packages

Does DHL Express have a size and weight limit?

DHL can transport shipments of nearly any size and weight. If a shipment includes a piece that is over 48 inches in length or over 150 Lbs., an excess size-overweight piece charge of $67.50 is applied. Only one oversize or overweight fee is assessed per shipment, regardless of the number of oversize or overweight pieces that are in the shipment. For imports, 120 CM length or 70 KG weight are the standards used to determine if a package meets the excess size or overweight criteria.

Remote Locations

How do I know if the address I am shipping to is a remote area?

You can call our Customer Service team at (972) 383-9901 or you go on line to

Shipping Questions

Does DHL Express deliver to APO box addresses?

Although DHL Express cannot deliver to PO, APO, or FPO box address you may request the shipment to be held for pickup (additional service charge will be applied). The receiver will then be able to pickup the shipment at the local DHL Express station. Note: The receiver address is still required for customs on international shipments.

What is the shipper’s reference number?

The shipper’s reference number is a unique identifier assigned to the shipment by the sender while filling out the shipment information. This can be any combination of letters and numbers, such as a purchase order number or any other information that allows you to manage your shipments.


What is a tracking number?

Tracking numbers, also referred to as waybill numbers, are used to identify and track your shipments. The tracking number is assigned to your shipment by DHL, and is a 10 digit number.
To check the status of your shipment you may enter your tracking number on either the website or website.

If I do not have my tracking number, is it still possible to track my shipment?

Yes, under certain conditions. We strongly advise you to make a record of your tracking number however, if you have the shipper’s reference number, you can use the online Shipper’s Reference Tracking service.

When I attempted to track my DHL shipment, I received an invalid waybill error message. Why?

The DHL Express waybill is a 10 digit numeric number (e.g. 1234567890, 2345678901), so please recheck the number and try again.

What address information is shown on the tracking screen?

Due to international privacy laws, DHL can only display the city, state, and country for international addresses. Origin and destination names and postal codes are shown for US imports and exports.

202 W Main St #200, Allen, TX, 75013

(972) 383-9901